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 interactive calendar of events

Click here  for the interactive calendar. 

It provides a quick summary of meetings and events throughout the Southern Tier of NY and the Northern Tier of PA.

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  NYRAD General Meeting

NYRAD logo

NYRAD general meetings will be scheduled on an individual basis. 

Please check back often to keep apprised of NYRAD events and special presentations.

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  GASLAND with Josh Fox

Filmmaker Josh Fox became curious about natural gas drilling when a gas company approached him to lease his family’s land in Pennsylvania.  Because his initial research raised many concerns, he decided to dig deeper - with camera in hand.

He first visited Dimock, PA, where many homeowner’s wells were contaminated with natural gas and chemicals after drilling began close to their homes.  But this process was still new in PA, so Fox traveled to areas with a longer history of hydrofracturing of gas wells.  His gas drilling tour included Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Louisiana and Texas.

The film is dramatic and haunting.  Interviews are conducted with individuals and families that have been affected by gas drilling: suffering from extreme neurological damage, being exposed to the constant noise and light of drilling rigs or compressor stations, and experiencing flammable tap water and streams.

The film is upsetting. People who live in the Marcellus Shale area should watch this film to get the side of the story they will never hear from landmen, gas companies, and politicians.

GASLAND is the winner of the Special Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

See http://gaslandthemovie.com for more information about the movie.

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  In ‘Gasland,’ Director Seeks Lessons from West

Gas drilling became personal for director Josh Fox when rigs started coming close to home.


By David Frey, 5-29-10
The film Gasland won the Special Jury Prize for documentary when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this year, and it’s been turning heads ever since. The film depicts the journey of director Josh Fox from his home in Pennsylvania, where gas drilling is beginning to boom, to the West, where it has been booming for years. Gasland tells the story of people who say their land, water and their health have been destroyed by the industry.

The documentary has been making the rounds across the country. It’s scheduled to appear on HBO on June 21. We caught up with Fox at Telluride MountainFilm.

NEW WEST: For you this really was personal.

JOSH FOX: It’s personal now. I could have a well pad going in a mile and a half from my house. We’re really, really worried. This is coming and it’s coming full bore and we’re trying to stop it. That’s the truth. The truth is, this activity and an area where people live don’t go together.

You talk about using this film to bridge the East and the West, and for you, it really was a journey to the West.

I had taken a road trip across America in 1994, and I fell in love with the West. With Wyoming, with Colorado, with New Mexico, with Arizona, Utah. When I heard this was going on in the West, I wanted to see if the places I loved were still there. I wanted to see what the effects were. I wanted to see how this had changed the area. I also wanted people on the East Coast to benefit from the experience of what had happened here.

Thankfully, there were so many people who were so willing to do that with me and so generous: to educate me and the audience of this film and the people on the East Coast who are trying to scramble and stop what happens in Gasland from happening there as has happened here.

The ambition is definitely to stop it there and call for a moratorium on this kind of drilling until we can figure out what’s going on across the United States and for tighter regulations to start to protect people in Colorado, Texas, Wyoming who are getting sick.

People are being poisoned in their own homes by these rigs that are off-gassing volatile organic chemicals directly into their living rooms, and they’re having severe, severe health problems.

In the film, whether you’re in Colorado or Wyoming or Arkansas, there’s a certain sameness, not just complaints about the chemicals in the water and in the air, but in everyday people who suddenly have gas drilling in their backyards. Did that strike you as you were making it?

The industry says wherever they go, this is going to be different than we did it in Colorado, this is going to be different than we did it in Texas. I found the same story everywhere. Air pollution. Water contamination. Health problems. Rampant land destruction. People feeling like they’re no longer in control of their own lives.

You’re first words in the film were, “I’m not a pessimist.”

I’m still not a pessimist. I do think the truth will out and that once people understand what is actually happening there will be change in this industry.

Listen, we’re not going to survive another 50 years, another 20 years, of fossil fuels. There are whole islands in the South Pacific that are already disappearing because of the rising sea level. If we continue to burn fossil fuels, we’re not going to like the results of this. We’re going to have hundreds of millions of climate refugees. We’re going to have huge adverse weather effects. It’s going to continue.

We have to make a push. We have to move to renewable energy. We have to do it as fast as we possible can. The natural gas industry is standing in the way of making the true transition that we have to make: a transition to clean energy, to renewable energy, to zero emissions.

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Synopsis: Can you imagine being able to light your tap water on fire?  This is just one of the many shocking results due to the natural gas drilling boom which has swept the United States.  The Halliburton-developed drilling technology called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”  has unlocked a "Saudi Arabia of natural gas"  just beneath us.
But is fracking safe?   
Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.  When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination.   Fox encounters EPA whistleblowers, congressmen, world recognized scientists, and some of the most incredibly inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of ordinary Americans fighting against fossil fuel giants for environmental justice.

Running Time: 104 minutes

About Josh:  GASLAND is the first documentary feature film by celebrated filmmaker and theater artist Josh Fox.  It is his second feature film in two years, following the narrative feature Memorial Day released in 2009.  Gasland won the Special Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival and it will premiere on HBO on June 21st.

Josh Fox grew up in Milanville, PA and New York City, and his work is known for its mix of gripping narrative, heightened imagery and its commitment to socially conscious themes and subjects.

He is the founder and Artistic Director of International WOW Company, a film and theater company that works closely with actors and non actors from diverse cultural backgrounds, including members of the US Military, activist communities in sustainable energy and design and actors, dancers, designers and filmmakers from around the world to create new work that addresses current national and global social and political crises.

The company has premiered new work in 8 countries with a rotating network over 100 actors, dancers, musicians, technical, and visual artists spanning 35 countries on 5 continents.   With International WOW Company, Josh has received a Drama Desk Nomination, an Otto Award, five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and five prestigious MAP Fund Grants, A Ford Foundation grant, an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship among many other awards and honors.

In 2008 Josh completed his first feature film, Memorial Day produced by Artists Public Domain, Journeyman Pictures and  C-Hundred Film Corp. Memorial Day is a genre-bending examination of American culture and the atrocities of Abu Ghraib, where war is a party and partying is a war.  The film premiered at CineVegas Film festival in 2008 and was hailed as “Unforgettable” by Variety and “Uniquley fascinating” by Indiewire garnering a reputation as “the most controversial film at the festival” –Spoutblog.

As the Artistic Director of International WOW, Josh has established himself as a significant force New York theatre. In 2004, the New York Times hailed him as “one of the most adventurous impresarios of the New York avant-garde,” and Time Out NY has called him “one of downtown’s most audacious auteurs,” citing his “brilliantly resourceful mastery of stagecraft.”

On stage with International WOW Company Josh has conceived, written, directed, and/or produced over 30 productions in Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines, Japan, Germany, France and New York City, which have included SURRENDER (2009 Drama Desk Nomination) You Belong To Me, Death of Nations Part V, “Heimwehen”, The Comfort & Safety of Your Own Home (Top Ten of 2004, NY Theatre Wire), Limitless Joy, The Expense of Spirit; Death of Nations, parts 1-4 and The Trailer; Orphan On God’s Highway; The BOMB; HyperReal America (Top Ten Shows of 2001, Time Out NY); Soon My Work; This is Not the Ramakian; The Sleeping and the Dead; Stairway to the Stars; and American Interference (Best in the Fringe Festival, Village Voice).

Production Credits:

TRISH ADLESIC (Producer) is a seasoned New York City filmmaker and producer, having spent the past twenty years on multiple television and feature film productions in various capacities. She started out working on the pilot for the hit television show, “Law and Order.”  She continued to hone her craft working on feature films with esteemed directors such as: Robert Benton, Sidney Lumet, Michael Mann, James L. Brooks, Gus Van Sant and Jim Sheridan as Unit Production Manager, Production Supervisor and Location Manager.   She currently and has for the past ten years worked as the Location Manager for  “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit."   She is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and serves on the Eastern AD/UPM council.

MOLLY GANDOUR (Producer) is a filmmaker and writer.  Working for Barack Obama during the primaries, she saw firsthand how direct action and organizing can lead to a sea change in the national consciousness.  Most recently, she was an Associate Producer at Thirteen/WNET, a flagship PBS station in New York City, where she worked on Emmy-award winning programming on local arts, politics and public affairs.

MATT SANCHEZ (Editor) cut MR. BACH COMES TO CALL, an Emmy-nominated PBS program, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HARRIS MALDEN, which premiered at Cinevegas.  He’s received 4 Telly Awards.  He's house editor at GreenTreks, a non-profit for environmental awareness. He's co-founder of SWEATY ROBOT, hailed as a new voice in independent filmmaking.

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  GASLAND review


HBO's 'Gasland' drills into drilling
Posted Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2010

By CHRISTOPHER KELLY    cmkelly@dfw.com

A couple of years ago, filmmaker Josh Fox received a letter in the mail that suggested he had won a lottery of sorts. An energy company pursuing natural gas in rural Pennsylvania wanted to lease the rights to drill below the director's property. The 19-plus acres that had been owned by Fox's family for decades are above the Marcellus Shale, described as the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas." The signing bonus alone amounted to nearly $100,000. All Fox needed to do was to sign on the dotted line.

It's an experience to which many of us in the Fort Worth area can relate. Tarrant County sits above the Barnett Shale, and a few years ago many of its residents were besieged by those same letters and phones calls. Signing bonuses escalated. Save for a few naysayers who warned of potential environmental damage, most people assumed there would be no downside to the drilling. The Barnett Shale represented what most of us spend long hours fantasizing about: free, no-strings-attached money.

Fox wasn't immediately sold, however, and he decided to launch an investigation. The result is Gasland, an exhaustive and eye-opening look at natural-gas drilling and its potential dangers that premieres on HBO on Monday night, as part of the network's excellent Summer Docs series. What gives the movie its charge -- and what makes it such essential viewing for those of us living in or near Fort Worth -- is that, like most of us, Fox knew little about natural-gas drilling before starting the project. (He's also a film neophyte; his only previous work is Memorial Day, an experimental art film about the Abu Ghraib scandal.) We share completely in his journey of discovery, and that journey isn't an especially happy one. Turns out all that no-strings-attached money is anything but.

Trouble the waters

Fox begins in Pennsylvania, where he discovers a community whose well water went bad within weeks of drilling starting there. The director then journeys to Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, and finds one nightmarish scenario after another:

People who, by placing a cigarette lighter next to their faucet, can cause the water coming from it to explode into a fireball because it has been completely contaminated by natural gas.

People whose pets have begun to lose large clumps of hair.

People whose tap water is turbid and brown -- and who still are told by natural-gas companies that it's safe to drink.

Along the way, Fox explains how natural gas is drilled, through a process called hydraulic fracturing, which releases dozens of toxic chemicals into the ground. According to one person Fox interviews (an Environmental Protection Agency worker speaking without authorization), part of the problem is that the EPA is in collusion with the energy companies.

Advocacy journalism

Gasland is among a recent spate of advocacy documentaries that paint a borderline-apocalyptic portrait of modern life. If you've sat through some of these movies, like Food Inc. -- with its study of the industrialization of our food supply -- your inclination might be to tune out what the filmmakers are preaching, since there seems to be little in the way of a solution. You might also doubt a lot of the things that the filmmaker is saying. Not unlike Michael Moore, Fox is an unabashed partisan who uses shock tactics to build his case. With little in the way of on-screen sources, you have to take much of what he says on faith. (The film gives no voice to pro-drilling arguments, but the closing credits include a long list of industry representatives who declined to be interviewed).

Yet you need to watch Gasland and engage with the prickly questions it raises, if only for the chilling 10-minute section in which Fox visits Dallas-Fort Worth. He interviews Al Armendariz, an air quality specialist at SMU, who says that the daily emissions from the oil and gas drilling around Fort Worth are greater than the daily emissions from all of the automobiles in the Metroplex. (Armendariz is now the regional EPA director for Texas and neighboring states.) He also introduces us to Calvin Tillman, the mayor of Dish, a town in Denton County where 10 gas pipelines converge. Speaking about the natural gas that has been released from the compressor stations in the area, Tillman says: "Some guy is going to be cooking his hamburger one day and blow up the town."

Three years ago, at the height of the Barnett Shale mania, I signed a lease for the drilling rights for my house in the TCU area. Gasland doesn't touch upon the impact that the economic downturn had on drilling here, or the fact that there seems to be a lot less gas beneath our homes than a lot of people anticipated -- to do so, I suspect, would let some viewers off the hook, and that's not this director's style.

Instead, Fox reminds us that you can't get something for nothing and that even if we can't see it happening -- even if the drilling takes place in rural spots, thousands of feet underground -- it still affects the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink.

Christopher Kelly is the Star-Telegram film critic.

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  Retrospective: EPA Hearings in Binghamton

At the EPA Hearings in Binghamton, NY , Sept 13 & 15, 2010

photos courtesy of Paul Ievins